Friday, 29 January 2016

Thing 23: Making it all work together.

Drum roll, please: Thing 23!

Going forward, it's about making it all work together. For this the last Thing, I had a look at Flipboard; a ‘live’ magazine for your smart phone or tablet. I found Flipboard to be very user-friendly, shiny and easy on the eye.

To begin, I personalised my Flipboard around my own interests. I then added my Twitter and Facebook accounts to the feed, had a look around at other Flipboard accounts and followed ones I liked etc. It actually reminds me of a more personalised Pinterest. The cover stories group stories by source, topic, and/or social network, thus making it very simple to locate and read items of interest. Flipboard also seems to learn from my reading habits and appears to feed more stories into the sections that I favour. I like that I can ‘mute’ some authors of posts from my feed. While the presentation of home page information from other networks is very attractive, the question remain whether I would substitute visiting my other social media account for Flipboard? I’m not sure, yet-it may occur through learned behaviour.

I then got me thinking about how I would apply Flipboard in a library setting. With minimum effort we could to showcase all our libraries via clear and vivid images; Give the library consumers an inside look into the library, personal and up close. It would also bring the other library social media accounts together (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) to one forum for users-the easier the better!  

  To end, I’d like to thank the RudaĆ­23 team for all their time and efforts. It has been a very enjoyable, educational and social experience, one that I would hope to build upon in the future. Libraries are now very social environments and we need to embrace that and keep up with technological advances and trends. It’s important to constantly get the word out in the most efficient and portable way that will inspire a library user.

I have included a video t
hat makes me smile every time I watch it. It was a video commissioned by the BCC in 2014 and it both celebrates and represents the modern library.

 "I love my local library and all quirks"....

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Thing 22: Mobile Things

I was slow to invest in a smartphone. I felt that I would be too contactable/available at times. But, then three years ago, I invested and there is no going back.
I mean where would I be without Google Maps, WhatsApp or Hailo...literally!
I have a couple of favourite past-time apps also; TuneIn radio, Spotify and Nike+ Running. As I am using Android, I was not able to access Gumti for this Thing, therefore I have decided to discuss an app I use frequently both in and out of the office; Evernote.

"Evernote, the workspace for your life". I love writing lists; there's a serious satisfaction when I tick thing off.  I also love sticky notes and use them all the time at work. Evernote is like a digital notepad or sticky note and I use it for both in my personal and work life. It's a place where I can easily collect and locate information. As I can use it on my phone, tablet and computer, it syncs my data across all devices. Therefore I can begin working on my tablet and pick up where I left off with my phone, or vice versa. For example sometimes I might save a reminder or idea when out of office, I quickly make a note on Evernote and it's there on my phone to access when back in the office. The app also allows me to store audio material and images, all of which a stored in the cloud. I can create tags which make searching my documents super easy; it will even search across handwritten documents. It's not really designed for large documents however, but to be honest I leave that for Dropbox.
Evernote allows me to compartmentalise my life, both work and play.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Thing 21: The Infographic (or lack of)

Apparently humans are more responsive to visual images than plain text. I'd believe it! Think of all the marketing/advertising campaigns that catch out eye each and every's all about the visual draw and there is no escape. It's hardly the text that grabs your eye...

Done right, infographics are an eye-catching means of presenting data and information. They can be useful educational and entertainment tool.
I won't lie however, this was my least favourite 'Thing'. I tried out both (to present statistical information relating to my blog) and then Piktochart (where I attempted to create a literary map of Ireland). I found both tools to be slow and laborious and with poor connection and a wasted hour and a half, I called it quits. I was half tempted to upload one of them for effort but after looking at other Rudai23 blogs and the epic ones they produced, I thought it was best not to. Perhaps, I should have upgraded and paid a subscription... Needless to say, I won't be giving up the day job to become a graphic designer.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Thing 20: The Presentation

Sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies- presentations get me every time. Love them or hate them, presentations are very much part of every workplace.
They say practice makes perfect, and slowly but surely I am finding it easier to present. It's all about knowing the subject matter and your audience.

For this Thing, I have attached 6 slides  Getting Started on EndNote; a bibliographic and referencing management tool. Creating a presentation slide on PowerPoint is a part of the process I actually enjoy. I then create notes relating to each particular slide and memorize each slide as best possible.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Thing 19: Copyright this...

When I began writing this blog, I added images to improve the aesthetics. Then one day, the penny dropped. Pretty careless, I know! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, we are so used to sharing and re-posting images, music etc. that we often forget about the origin or the creator's rights.

Copyright is often a topic of discussion and debate across the creative spectrum. In this, the Information Age, where the Internet is a powerful vehicle of information and propaganda, copyright is more important than ever. Copyright, the do's and don't are something that affect every information specialist's workday. While we want to meet the needs of our users in providing them with whatever information is required in order to encourage innovation and creativity, we must also protect the legal rights of author, creator, publisher. In many ways, it could be said that librarians are protectors/keepers of our cultural, literal and scientific heritage. It about striking a happy-medium between education and information-sharing. I like the Creative Commons concept; as while it does not undermine copyright, it works with it in order to build upon creativity and ingenuity.  It's mission to of realise the ''full potential of the Internet, universal access to research and education, full participation in culture in order to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity" is something I'm most definitely down with. Copyright that!!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Thing 18: Communicating through photos

A picture can paint a thousand words.....

I love Instagram! Photography is a hobby and while I share some photos taken with my phone every now and then, what I really love is following other accounts, especially travel accounts; one well-captured photograph can change my opinion of a destination (even if it were a restaurant or hotel). It whets the appetite for more adventures. The same could be done for libraries, given the right photography.

With a little imagination, photography is a simple, effective way to advertise a library event, display new material, provide up-to-date library news. Christine from the Rudai23 team gave some good tips for using Instagram and engaging an audience; it's so easy for a social media account to be forgotten.
So I had a look around at the some Irish library Instagram accounts but alas, there are few and most were not well updated.  I then checked out New York Public Library's Instagram account @nypl. Everything from book signings, random old school library queries, book illustrations and so forth. It's updated a couple of times a weeks, reminding us of it's existence. It looks like a fun place to work, let alone visit. Needless to say, I am now a 'follower'.

To conclude, I added a photo I posted to my own Instagram a while back. The librarian dream; my old office!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Reflective Practice III

Wow! The last Reflective Practice...

Okay, so I am very late to this particular party.  My blog has seen little action over recent months. Autumn gave in the Winter and I went into blogging hibernation. Spring is almost upon us however, and I've my blogging hat on again.

For this 'thing', I began by reading through most my blog posts (which was much needed). When reviewing, I could sense the mood I was in when writing specific blog posts. This exercise also encouraged me to acknowledge and analyse why I was more enthusiastic about some activities and not others. Some of the social 'things' I was less familiar with spooked me a little and I was therefore wary of what I had to say about them.

Librarians make decisions to benefit the user. We as information professionals, must consistently ask 'what more can I do to meet the information needs of others?'. An organised, well informed and a happy work environment generates a welcoming environment for the user. Therefore, we must also consider how we are perceived following any interaction with users or colleagues, and in-so-doing, I believe our communication and leadership skills would prove to be more effective. Regularly survey the user how he/she thinks the library help desk/resources/website could be improved upon. Reflect upon any organised events, discuss with colleagues, ask the opinion of users. By doing so , implement any valid suggestions when organising the next event, ordering the next book, presenting the next information class, it's all trial and error! 

The quality of self-awareness requires self-reflection. From the point of personal learning and career development, it is important to consistently assess our work, actions, interactions and thoughts. Personally, I find it very easy to dwell on the past, and sometimes have to remind myself to focus on the present in the hope of improving in the future. In work and play, I learn through my own experiences, and more often, my mistakes.